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Iran’s Soleimani playing role in Iraq government formation

Iranian Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani,
Iranian Brigadier General Qassem Soleimani. [File photo]

Two sources familiar with the progress of the political process in Iraq stated, Wednesday, that the Iranian General Qasem Soleimani is having talks with politicians in Baghdad to promote for the formation of a new government approved by Iran.

The commander of foreign operations for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Qasim Soleimani, arrived in Iraq on the day of the parliamentary elections. Initial nationwide polls revealed a surprising victory for the bloc that supports Shi’ite cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, who has not ostensibly allied with Iran and who participated in the election campaign taking advantage of public discontent over widespread corruption and social strife.

Read: Allawi’s Coalition calls for annulling results of Iraq parliamentary elections

One of Al-Sadr loyalties, who play the role of mediator between Al-Sadr and other senior politicians, told Reuters that “Soleimani is having talks with rival politicians to pave the way for agreement on the formation of a ruling Shi’ite alliance. Formal talks to form a governing coalition will begin after final results are announced this week.

Before the election, Iran publicly announced that it would not allow Al-Sadr’s bloc, the sudden alliance between Shi’ites, communists and secular groups, to govern. For his part, Al-Sadr said he is not ready to make concessions to Iran to form a coalition with its ally President Hadi Al-Ameri, leader of the Badr paramilitary organization, or former Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki.

The Quds Force, led by Soleimani, is the main foreign backer of the Badr organization, the backbone of the militias involved in committing massacres and sectarian crimes against Sunnis in Iraq.

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